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Development and Alumni FAQ's

If the information below does not answer your question, please also check our list of Common Terms and Definitions or feel free to Contact Us at any time. We would love to hear from you.

What does my Eastern Fund gift do?
Your annual gift is immediately put to use to support teaching and learning here on campus. Your gift may enhance the campus learning environment by providing financial aid and scholarships for our students, along with adding computers or books to the library, or other areas of need for our students.  Every gift, no matter the size or designation, serves a very specific and important purpose by enabling our faculty and students to better fulfill our mission of "empowering students to present the whole Gospel for the whole World through faith, reason and justice."

Quite literally, every part of Eastern benefits from your support. The most fundamental impact is on student scholarships and aid.  Annual gifts also equip our science and computer labs, help to build the library collections, and maintain our beautiful grounds. If you received a scholarship, studied by the ponds, or had class in McInnis, then you have experienced the impact of Eastern Fund gifts. 

What are the different ways I can make my gift to Eastern?
Credit card gifts can be made online by visiting our giving page, or over the phone at 610.341.5909
Checks should be made payable to "Eastern University" and mailed to: Office of Development, Eastern University - Ott Hall, 1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA 19087

Unless otherwise indicated, gifts will be credited to the Eastern Fund.

Where can I designate my gift?
Anywhere.  Really.  While unrestricted gifts are important to the fiscal health of Eastern, we encourage our alumni, parents and friends to give to the areas to which they feel most connected. Departments, scholarships, athletics, and mission trips are always a popular choice.

What is the alumni giving percentage?
The alumni giving percentage is an indicator of alumni pride and satisfaction and measures the act of alumni giving, not the total amount given.  It is officially defined as the average percent of undergraduate alumni of record who donate money to the college or university. The alumni giving rate is calculated by dividing the number of appropriate donors during a given academic year by the number of appropriate alumni of record for that year. The percent of alumni giving serves as a proxy for how satisfied students are with the school. Also, levels of participation among alumni, faculty and staff, and the Board of Trustees are considered by foundations and corporations when they make their funding decisions.  A gift from any individual donor could lead to other significant gifts and the collective gifts of all individuals provide sustained support to assure the future of Eastern.  As an alumnus or alumna, your gift will have an immediate impact on the value of your degree as we rise in the ranks. Giving to Eastern is a great way to help your University and yourself!

Eastern's current alumni/ae giving percentage is: 12.77%
The national average for FY13 was: 8.7%

What is the fiscal year?
The Eastern fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.  All gifts and pledges completed before June 30 count toward the current year's alumni giving percentage goals and budget needs. 

When should I send my year-end gift to count for the current tax year?
Postmarks of December 31 and credit and gifts made on or before noon of the last business day in December will count for the tax year ending December 31.  Similarly, gifts will count for the University's fiscal giving cycle (July 1 through June 30) if they are postmarked no later than June 30 or your credit card gift charge is made on or before June 30.

What are the tax benefits of making a gift to Eastern?
Eastern University is a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution.  Your gift to Eastern is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.  A receipt will be issued for your gift.

Does Eastern really need my money?  What about student tuition and the endowment?
While Eastern's endowment offsets the cost of student tuition on an average of $3,000 per student, the endowment still only covers about 4% of the University's annual operating budget.  Eastern's success, therefore, depends heavily on the support of our alumni, parents and friends.  Annual giving is sometimes called the "living endowment" because dollars are expended in their entirety in the year they are given. In that sense, donors know the full amount of their gifts are being used for educating today's students.

I can't afford a large gift. Is there any point in me giving?
Large gifts are absolutely essential to Eastern's success. But so are more modest ones. Eastern now has more than 20,000 living alumni. Most of us will never make the cover of Forbes magazine. Many teachers, pastors and social workers, for example-choose our life's work for love, not money. But when our gifts are combined, they add up and provide critical support for the student-professor interaction that makes our University very special.  

How do matching gifts work?
Many companies will match your gift to the University, thereby doubling or sometimes tripling your contribution. For most companies, you would find a very simple form in your human resources or personnel office, and return that to Eastern when you make your gift. To see if your employer is a matching company, please visit our Matching Gift Company Search.

How does Eastern recognize its donors?
Recognition varies with the type and amount of the gift. All donors are sent written tax receipts and acknowledgement of their contributions. Eastern also has donor societies.  Donors who establish endowed funds may receive annual correspondence from scholarship or research fund recipients. In addition, we encourage all of our donors to come to campus and see first-hand the impact that gifts make on current Eastern students and faculty.

How do I become a member of the President's Circle?
Supporters who commit to a $1,000 annual gift to Eastern University for a minimum of three years become members of the President's Circle.  Membership includes attendance at the annual Circle Dinner and a visit by the University President at a gathering produced by any member with 20 or more attendees.

How do I become a member of the Claghorn Heritage Society?
Donors, who make a bequest in their Will, give funds for a Charitable or Deferred Gift Annuity, or name Eastern as a beneficiary of a charitable trust, will automatically become members of the Claghorn Heritage Society.

Are there non-monetary ways I can support Eastern?
Absolutely! Whether it's recommending a student to Eastern, setting up a summer internship at the company where you work, praying for Eastern, or volunteering your services for the Eastern Alumni Council, we appreciate your support. There are many ways to get involved, and some of them take just a few minutes of your time. To learn more, please contact the Alumni Office.

What is the University's highest fundraising priority?
The Eastern Fund is the highest annual giving priority for the University.  This fund makes up the difference between tuition and the actual cost of education.

Does my gift really make a difference?
Yes, every gift makes a difference.  Gifts of any size, particularly those made to the Eastern Fund, play a critical role in helping Eastern grow its ministry of higher education based on faith, reason and justice. Eastern relies on the support of alumni, parents and friends to help many of our students to attend.  Further, many grant-making organizations assess alumni participation rates when making their grant decisions.

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